INDIA - Israeli Tech Helps Farmers Grow Crops in Salty Water

Arno Froese

An Israeli start-up has developed a technology that allows farmers to grow crops in spite of the salinity of the water or soil that they have at their disposal, offering a hope to overcome challenges related to droughts and scarcity of fresh water.

As explained to The Jerusalem Post by the company’s CEO Dotan Borenstein, the idea behind Kfar Vitkin-based SaliCrop was first formulated when Rca Godbole, a plant biologist from India, visited Israel and met agronomist Omar Massarwa and agricultural engineer Sharon Devir. The group decided to pursue a project that would help coastal farmers in the area of Mumbai. “It was 2013. For a few years, they worked under the radar in central Israel to achieve a proof of concept of their idea on several types of produce,” he explained. “Afterwards, they went to experiment our solution in the fields, irrigating the crops with salty water.”

“The materials are completely safe and give the crops a form of ‘immunity’ from salt and also drought conditions,” Borenstein said.

In 2018, the technology started to be employed by farmers both in Israel and India. Over time, it has been used on a variety of crops, including rice, corn, wheat, millet, tomatoes, spinach and coriander.

Overall, the use of SaliCrop’s solution has increased the crop production between 12% and 32%, with all other conditions being equal.

“Our vision is to allow small farmers, bigger farmers and even countries to practice agriculture under difficult conditions and in areas where before it was not economically viable,” Borenstein concluded., 5 August 2020

Arno's Commentary

Israel’s high-tech agriculture is known throughout the world. Salt water is virtually inexhaustible. After all, two-thirds of the planet is covered with salt water. Converting salt water to fresh is essential for Israel’s survival, but growing crops in salt water is another step that seems to be copyrighted by Israelis.

In the Bible, we find something in the reverse direction: after the citizens of Jericho complained about the water to the prophet Elijah, we read in 2 Kings 2:20-22: “And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him. And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land. So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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